After installing a completion at a deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico, the operator tried to use pressure cycling to open a third-party ball valve nd restart the well, but the valve remained stuck. The operator first suspected there might be debris on top of the valve, but slickline operations using drive-down bailers did not show any debris inside the bailer.
The slickline intervention could not fully confirm the presence of debris, given the lack of a downhole depth-measurement device to precisely identify holdup depth. Needing to resume operations quickly, the operator asked Schlumberger for an emergency mobilization to help resolve the situation.
The Schlumberger team arrived on site and started the intervention within 24 hours. Due to a 2.57-in downhole restriction, Schlumberger chose to deploy its 21/8-in ReSOLVE iX extreme-performance instrumented wireline intervention service, which uses a high-force anchor-linear actuator and active debris removal tools.
Estimating the height of debris is critical for formation isolation valve–shifting operations where a fixed distance from a closed ball to the contingency profile can mean that a debris column can prevent a successful mechanical shifting operation. If this factor is misjudged, the shifting tool could pack debris on top of the valve, which would compromise the wireline’s ability to remove it and trigger a coiled tubing mobilization.
After an accurate depth correlation—observed in real time through wireline instrumentation—it became apparent that the active debris removal tool had reached the ball valve. The debris removal tool was then activated and a small amount of debris was collected.
Real-time monitoring of the pump load had already confirmed that there wasn’t a significant amount of debris present, and the small quantity of metallic particles, O-rings, and other debris recovered at the surface proved the assumption. With the ball valve now cleared, the operator then decided to proceed with the shifting intervention.
The large 4.378-in ID of the ball valve required a shifting tool with a high-expansion ratio to properly engage it. Due to its unique design, the ReSOLVE iX service’s smart shifting tool was able to reach the target after passing through a narrow 2.57-in restriction. Once in contact with the valve, the tool’s unique profiling feature used indirect caliper measurements to create a profile of the valve sleeve for precise manipulation. Real-time measurements confirmed that the shifting key was properly seated inside the valve’s shifting profile and ready to activate.
This rapid and precise intervention avoided the mobilization of a coiled tubing unit, which is more challenging on deepwater offshore rigs. After a successful intervention, the operator resumed production without further impediments